Canada

CBC employees given Dec. 1 deadline to get vaccinated

Employees of CBC/Radio Canada have been given a Dec. 1 deadline to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Crown corporation announced on Thursday, but the potential ramifications for staff who refuse haven't been finalized.

Employees required to submit COVID-19 vaccination status

The Dec. 1 deadline for CBC/Radio Canada employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19 also applies to those working from home, the public broadcaster says. (Sam Nar/CBC)

Employees of CBC/Radio Canada have been given a Dec. 1 deadline to get vaccinated against COVID-19, the Crown corporation announced on Thursday, but the potential ramifications for staff who refuse haven't been finalized.

Mandatory vaccination also applies to all contractors, sub‑contractors, vendors, independent producers, freelancers, performers and guests who visit any CBC/Radio‑Canada location, according to the announcement, made by CBC's senior executive team.

"We wanted to inform you of this new measure now to give as much time as possible to those who are not yet vaccinated," the statement says.

The vaccination requirement will apply to everyone at the CBC, whether they are teleworking or not, the statement says.

As for those who fail or refuse to get vaccinated by the Dec. 1 deadline, the statement says the broadcaster is currently in the process of developing the "administrative measures" that will apply to unvaccinated people who are not exempt for medical or religious reasons.

Those exemptions will be evaluated on "a case‑by‑case basis," the statement says.

CBC staff are being required to fill out a mandatory declaration of COVID-19 vaccination status by Oct. 31. Employees declaring themselves fully vaccinated must provide proof of vaccination when submitting their COVID-19 vaccination status declaration form.

So far, 75 per cent have completed the declaration, the statement says.

One per cent have confirmed they are not fully vaccinated against COVID‑19, it says.

CBC/Radio Canada currently employs roughly 7,500 people across the country.

Earlier this month, the Liberal government announced a mandatory vaccine policy that would require federal public servants to either get vaccinated by the end of October or be forced into an unpaid leave of absence.

The government said that Crown corporations — including Canada Post and CBC/Radio Canada — were being asked to implement vaccine policies "mirroring the requirements" for the rest of the public service.

Leon Mar, a spokesperson for CBC/Radio Canada, said the Dec. 1 deadline was set to allow employees adequate time to get fully vaccinated and to allow the corporation sufficient time to review requests for medical or religious exemptions.

Kim Trynacity, CBC branch president of the Canadian Media Guild, said the union will continue to work with the broadcaster to ensure that "the very small numbers of members who feel they cannot be vaccinated are accommodated."

"There are many ways CBC and other media are accommodating those for whom this procedure presents risks," Trynacity said in an email. "We do not consider firing a member as a workable solution to the problem, and instead advocate for ongoing dialogue."

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